We recently stumbled upon an intriguing image that left us utterly perplexed. What on Earth could this enigmatic object be?
The image made its rounds at All Cute offices as we brainstormed the myriad potential uses for what appeared to be an ordinary tree branch.
After a day of befuddlement and speculating its purpose, the mystery was finally unraveled!
This seemingly regular branch has a historical role dating back to the 1500s, known as “Water Dowsing.”
In case you’re unfamiliar with the term Water Dowsing or the dowsing tool itself, you might recognize it by one of its alternative names: diviner, doodlebug, well witch, or water-finder.
This tool, as you may have guessed, was employed for locating water sources. While it may sound like an old wives’ tale, it was a prevalent practice in bygone eras.
The Y-shaped branch was held by an individual, with one branch in each hand, palms facing upward. The stem of the “Y” (the lower part of the branch) was then inclined at a 45-degree angle toward the Earth. With the tool in this position, the individual would traverse back and forth.
As they walked, they watched for the bottom of the Y to rotate toward the ground. According to the old wives’ tale, the vibrations sensed at the bottom of the Y indicated the presence of water beneath the earth’s surface.
Now, you might wonder how this practice originated. Back in the 1500s, dowsing with metal rods was initially used to detect metals underground. Over time, it became a method for identifying water sources for rural homeowners.
The rationale behind this was that drilling for water in the wrong location could become prohibitively costly. By applying the water dowsing technique, water sources could be identified more efficiently, with minimal expenditure of time and money in the search.
The quasi-myth was debunked when more advanced technology revealed that water lies beneath a significant portion of the Earth’s surface. Nonetheless, the tool itself was quite ingenious in its heyday. Some water drilling companies still employ water-dowsing as a preliminary step before drilling, just to ensure that they’ll hit water.
If you already knew the purpose of this tool, congratulations! If you’d like to challenge your friends’ knowledge, see if they can guess what it is!